The 9th Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions will take place in Berlin!

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Summer Program
September 1, 2019 to September 8, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, European History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Peace History / Studies
 The 9th Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions will take place in Berlin!

This year, the annual summer school will focus on the following topic:

The legacy of ’89: 30 years of redrawing borders and rethinking minorities

The 9th Annual Summer School ‘National Minorities and Border Regions’, organized together with Coppieters Foundation, will be held at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (01.09.19- 08.09.19).


1989 was a year of seismic change for Europe, and for Germany. Regimes fell and emerged, and a new political map of Europe was drawn, containing new countries and delineated by new borders. Particularly in Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall meant the beginning of a reunification process between two separate and substantially estranged entities. The economic, structural and political differences between the two Germanys had to be reconciled, ideological rifts mended, and people (re)connected, including new and old minorities in both East and West Germany. As the GDR disappeared, new states formed east of Germany, causing new border disputes and ethnic conflicts along with a national awakening in many European states. Today, the GDR is integrated into Germany, several states of Central and Eastern Europe have been integrated into the EU, borders have opened, and many regions see significant cross-border cooperation. These developments heavily affected the lives of minorities in these regions and in many countries changed how they were perceived. Now, thirty years later, what can we learn from the experiences and transformations of diverse communities in Europe during 1989? What is the legacy of this year, and what might it be able to teach us about the future of both borders and national minorities in Europe?

Topics Covered

  • The effect of the fall of the Iron Curtain (including the Berlin Wall) on the new and old minority communities in Germany, particularly those living in border regions
  • Minority issues under the communist regimes
  • Institutional and legislative changes in the area of minority protection in Europe after 1989
  • The emergence and development of new borders post-1989
  • Europeanisation and minority rights
  • The legacy of 1989 and new challenges for minority rights
  • New minorities and borders of Europe

Planned Activities

The Summer School will consist of three phases:

  • Preparatory, in which the participants are provided with reading materials
  • Residential, which is an eight-day educational course in Berlin, and
  • Alumni, in which the participants join ECMI’s Alumni Network to sustain their newly built connections and expand their network to include previous alumni.

The residential component will combine traditional and non-formal educational methods, interactive sessions and networking activities to inspire the participants to engage with the topics of the course critically and from different perspectives and disciplinary approaches. The course will include:

  • Keynote lectures delivered by prominent scholars, academic lectures and practitioners’ seminars
  • Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals and discussion sessions
  • Meetings and networking with local minority stakeholders, panel discussions
  • A one-day field trip to Bautzen, meeting with the representatives of the Sorbian minority
  • Presentation and research exchange among the participants
  • Social events (film screening, visits to selected museums/exhibitions, international evening)


The Summer School team aims to select a total number of 25 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background:

  • Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students), and/or
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs, mass-media

Applicants are required to submit a completed online application form which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information).

To finalize the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV and a Letter of Motivation via email to no later than May 15, 2019. Please state “NMBR SuS19 Application” in the subject line.

The letter of motivation should 1) explain the reason for the applicant’s interest in participating in the Summer School; 2) assess how they will utilize and benefit from this experience in the future; 3) explain how they would be an asset to this Summer School; and 4) provide at least two references (name, position, affiliation, email, and phone number).

The application will not be considered for the selection process unless the required documents are submitted via email.

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background, gender, and country of origin will be an important factor in the selection process.


The tuition fee for the Summer School 2019 is

  • 250 EUR if the application is submitted until April 14, 2019 (EARLY BIRD discount)
  • 300 EUR if the application is submitted after April 14, 2019

The fee covers:

  • Access to all three components of the Summer School 2018 (E-learning, Training, Alumni Network)
  • All reading materials before and during the Summer School
  • Accommodation in four-bed rooms at Meininger Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz for 7 nights (September 1 -September 8)
  • Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, as well as two dinners
  • A seven-day public transport ticket (Berlin AB)
  • A field trip to Bautzen
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (film screenings, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition)
  • Support with bureaucratic matters during your visa application (if needed). Please note that visa fees will not be reimbursed.

Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will not be reimbursed.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation until July 31, 2019: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.

Cancellations after July 31, 2019: no refund


This summer school is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation. This event is partially funded by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

Contact Info: 
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